Covid Greetings to you and yours, I trust you are doing great. If you are not, there is nothing I can do, but jokes apart, I want you to be doing great. I mean, you are a ‘Great Nigerian Student’, so it is just fitting that greatness should be yours, though your country begs to differ.
Most universities already have their resumption dates slated for this month or early next month and expectedly, students will be back on campuses and academic work will begin immediately. This development prompted me to compile this short guide—call it a survival kit if you wish—to [looks at title] post-Covid resumption. The times we are in, sadly. We have never had something like this—resumption in such circumstances—and it is just fair that you should have someone throw a tip or two your way, and if that someone is not me, then who is? The government who does not give two flying flamingoes about the education sector? The SUG of your school whose stock-in-trade is being a yes-man to the government? Your National Association of ‘Nigerian Students’ whose members ride in Mercedes while you sweat it out in stuffy, badly lit lecture rooms? Your civil servant parents who are busy looking for alternative sources of income to pay your tuition because they are being owed fourteen months worth of pay? Since we have established that I am that guy who has your back—come rain, come shine—let us move.
Wear a Mask: This should be a no-brainer, but of course, the title of this piece exists. Aren’t you supposed to have like, five of this? You would probably be too caught up with schoolwork to do laundry every day after lectures, and it is just appropriate to have a fresh one every morning. If you wear one mask for five days of the week, what exactly are you planning? The third wave? In most countries, biological warfare is a criminal offence, even in wartime. You probably think that this doesn’t even need to be told since the university will enforce mandatory masking, but let us see how that goes after three weeks. Mandatory masking or not, you owe it to yourself to keep you safe in a system that doesn’t care whether you sink or swim. Safety aside, wearing a mask is quite economical: apart from costing much less than a ventilator, a mask would do a great deal in concealing your identity from guy men who might want to boss and chairman you to death to drop something for the boys. There is also that guy from whom you borrowed one quick 2k before school closed last March. Masks are also stylish, and can be a nice fashion statement.
You Cannot Resume With This Brain: Omo, you have to wisen up, especially if your brain has been on hibernation since last year. The torpidity of this very vital organ will not help your education, let’s be truthful here. Scrape away rust off the thing, lubricate it, tighten a nut here, a screw there, and get it up and running. How you will do this exactly, I do not know. Maybe read your favourite course text thirty minutes every day? See a mechanic? I don’t know, but you get the point. You know, it’s not that your brain hibernated, it just strayed very far from this whole school business. I mean, Bitcoin kept you up several nights during the lockdown. And na who get brain, dey do Bitcoin. So, gear that brain towards this.
Keep Your Mouth Shut; No, this is not because of the virus, even though I heard this reduces the chances of infection. Don’t resume and start to run mouth, e get why. You remember Anonymous Messages? Good. You see, when school resumes, some Children of Perdition will tell their padi what they wrote in Anonymous Messages, and their padi will tell his padi, and then violence. You are not a Child of Perdition, you do not dine with Satan and his Host, and you are a child of Light, which is why you should keep your mouth shut. You wrote what you wrote; you said what you said and you do not regret it. It was smooth; you enjoyed it—it would be an absolute shame if you set yourself up to fall because you do not know how to keep your mouth shut. One or two Children of Perdition might want to foment trouble by peddling rumours that so-so person wrote something about so-so person, but you don’t have to get involved or put out rebuttals, even if you are the so-so person. You do not owe anybody an explanation. Just lean back and enjoy the violence that children of darkness have brought upon themselves, because the Lord will always bring the counsel of the enemy to nought, and those who built walls have now fallen prisoners behind their own walls.
Resist Oppression: It is not impossible to have two or three guy men in your department roll in Benzes, with even more having Ashluxe and Palm Angels in their travelling bags, but you are not to be dismayed. All these are temporal possessions of but fleeting moment which the Preacher calls vanity. Vanity upon vanity, all is vanity–forget the grave for a minute, these guy men will scramble for seats in lecture theatres like everyone else. Haha, equality. Forget all those babes in your hostel who will resume with bone straight, shey their GP straight? The bearers of temporal glory will flaunt their vain possessions in your face but when they see it unfazed, they will GTFO. It is not impossible that once in a while, the oppression gets to you, but you owe it to yourself to keep your game face on especially when with company—a tear and two sighs in the secrecy of one’s room never killed anybody, but not in public, and remember, never more than a tear. Resist oppression and oppression will flee from you.
Nigga, Mind Your Speesh; Nigga, Wash Your Words: You don’t have to resume and make comments on anyone’s weight or appearance, it’s unnecessary. You should be trying to get lecture schedules, register your courses and all that, because there is no time. This year won’t be the most fantastic of years as per school—last year did a lot of damage already—which is why you should channel all your energy into facing what faces you. Someone who was dark last year now fair? None of your business. Someone who was fat now slim? Totally not your business. You run into a popular campus queen on a bus but she has a baby? Listen Tochi, it’s people who are supposed to have human babies, and not polar bears. Someone said they saw a senior member of the university senate rocking a fellowship coordinator in Cubana? You never heard, you were not even there when it was said. It is important to keep your mouth shut and even more so to mind your speesh. Snitches end up in ditches, they say.
Seize Opportunity: This one is exactly what it is—seize opportunity. A tutorial you think can help your grades? Attend it. Someone is organising a get-together and there will be food? Go for it. Getting free food is one of the best ways to cut down on expenses since food is ridiculously expensive. A plate of fried rice, two meats and a soft drink and before you know it, your bank account is bleeding. Sometimes, I ask why we didn’t come with charging ports and then I remember I am a Nigerian living in Nigeria, and thank my stars for the existence of food. Imagine just falling down in public because you haven’t had power to charge for two days. May God take power from the devil. Meanwhile, as last year robbed us of chance to fraternize, this year will be good to build networks.
Still on seizing opportunity, if you read the handwriting on the wall and realize that the LOYL’s lover is slacking, then by all means, do the necessary. Let me tell you a secret: The lockdown-strike took its toll on a lot of relationships and right now, they are on the verge of collapse. It is up to you to give it that last shove that will send it crashing so you can take your rightful place as your LOYL’s LOML. You dig? Meanwhile, be careful as you do this lest you get bathed in acid. It is advisable to gauge the lunacy level of your competition, juxtapose it with yours and check if the odds are in your favour before striking. Fortune favours the bold.
Put The System To Shame: Earlier on, we established that the system is ruined through and through and represents the interest of no one except those who benefit from its unending ruination. The system is designed to put you to shame but you must be prepared for it— if you can’t take active steps to put it to shame in return, at least ensure it doesn’t put you to shame first. As we approach the dry season, the heat wave will become stronger and lecture halls will compete with Hell’s ninth circle. Rather than whine about how lecture rooms should be air-conditioned, why don’t you get yourself a reliable hand fan or one of those little battery-powered table fans? The system made you sweaty and all that in order to end your drip, but here you are, armed with a hand fan to thwart the devices of the enemy. You know your university has water shortage because some person(s) ate the money allocated to sink a borehole or because of some topographical reason, and will you fold your arms? No, you won’t. Which is why you will come with jerrycans and buckets to store water under your bed. Aside the fact that these proactive measures will arm you for the many tortures your hell offers, student politicians would have to think harder about what to distribute during election campaigns.
This is pretty much everything I’m saying here, you’d have to wire me 2k to tell you the rest. You can also tell me below anything you think I missed, and we’d work out how to wire you 2k. And remember, apart from sharing, you don’t have to talk to anyone about any of these: keep your mouth shut and mind your speesh.